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The Role of Business in Social Causes in the 1970s

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In April 1973, the Saturday Review published a special business supplement, “Can the Businessman Meet Our Social Needs?” In this series of essays, noted business authority Peter F. Drucker and then New York City deputy mayor Edward K. Hamilton debated the pros and cons of this question. Though “corporate social responsibility” was a relatively new concept at the time, the issue of balancing responsibility among businesses, the nonprofit sector and government remains fresh 40 years later. This Voices article looks at the history of business philanthropy in the late 20th century, rediscovering examples of workplace volunteering that have faded from sight.